GUINEA AT A GLANCE:
Population: 10.3 million (2012)
GDP per capita $448 (2012)
Guinea held its first democratic presidential elections in 2010, and is seeking to tap its plentiful natural resources, including bauxite (aluminum ore), iron ore and vast tracts of arable land, to build a strong economy and stable future.
With World Bank Group support, Guinea is working to strengthen its poorly-developed health, education, and private sectors. Weak infrastructure is also limiting growth. For example, the national electrification rate stands at only about 17 percent. About 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for its livelihood.
The country stands to benefit from $2.1 billion in debt relief that was approved in September 2012 and supported by the World Bank Group and IMF.
CASA is helping Guinea increase business activity and attract investment by supporting improvements to the investment climate through regulatory changes. CASA is also backing the growth of Guinea’s smaller businesses with training and linkages programs.
Improving the Investment Climate
Supported by CASA, the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group has helped Guinea introduce reforms that are making it easier for businesses to do business. These improvements helped Guinea jump 26 places on starting a business, 26 places on getting electricity, and 20 places on dealing with construction permits on the World Bank Group’s 2013 Doing Business Report.
In 2011, Guinea opened a ‘one- stop-shop’ for business registration, which has cut the time of registration from 40 to three days, and the number of steps from 12 to two. More than four hundred businesses have already registered.
Helping Smaller Businesses Grow
CASA and IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory Program are fostering entrepreneurship and supporting the growth of Guinea’s smaller businesses.
A linkages program is helping local businesses build their capacity so they can take on contracts with mining giant Rio Tinto, which is developing a world-class iron ore mine, a 700 km railway, and a port in the country. Thanks to the linkages program, more than $7.7 million in contracts have already been awarded to local businesses, creating 800 new jobs.